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Seattle Times
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Nordstrom hires consultant to find store location in Manhattan
By Monica Soto Ouchi
Seattle Times retail reporter

Upscale retailer Nordstrom said today that it hired Madison Retail Group to find a location in the highly competitive and costly Manhattan market.

Nordstrom has long sought to open a store in Manhattan, but its largest barriers have been finding enough space (it needs at least 200,000-square feet), and at a price per square foot that enables it to turn a profit.

In a prior interview, President Blake Nordstrom said the company won't go into the market blindly, "because it's so expensive to do business there. But if the right opportunity availed itself, it's our No. 1 priority. We think it's important on a lot of fronts to be in Manhattan."

Manhattan will remain the last major U.S. market where the company doesn't have a presence, when Nordstrom opens a Boston area store this fall.

The company also plans to open new full-time stores this year in Novi, Mich., Denver, Colo., and a new Nordstrom Rack at Southcenter Square in Tukwila.

Madison Retail Group provides lease and tenant services for retail tenants, landlords and developers throughout the country.

Nordstrom's stock closed today at $51.27, up 19 cents.
 

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I can think of a great spot for this: 5th Avenue and (I think) 31st Street. It's an empty lot just south of the prime 5th Avenue retail district, and it's just waiting for a Nordy's. I saw it when I went to Manhattan over Christmas and thought to myself, "Damn, that would be a great spot for Nordy's." Anyone know the spot I'm talking about?
 

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There's no empty lot on 31st St. and Fifth Ave. You may be thinking about the currently empty lot at the corner of 36st St. and Fifth but that site will have a new residential and hotel tower going up and I doubt the ground floor retail space is 200,000 sf.

Nordstorm should hold out for the retail space that will be available at Ground Zero in a couple of years. There are large spaces in the various new towers and at the Calatrava station as well.
 

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Hmm, maybe that's the one I was thinking of. I knew it was somewhere in the 30's.

I was wondering if there was a proposal for that spot, but I didn't see any sign or anything, it just looked like it was sitting there, waiting for something to happen. Not that that means anything.

I have my doubts Nordstrom would want to locate all the way down at Ground Zero. They would probably want to be near the Midtown retail area. But I could be wrong.
 

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Depends on when you were in the area. If you were there in, say 2005 (or before) then there was indeed an empty lot that was getting for a new condo tower. That tower is now has been topped off and completed so no more empty lot on 31st St.

Here is the proposal for the lot on 36th St. so you see it's not big enough to hold a Nordstrom.





As for Nordstrom being downtown, I think it is entirely possible that they could be there because I remember reading a few years ago that they even contemplated going into the retail space at the WFC across from Ground Zero.
Brookfields (the landlord of the WFC) even considered expanding the space just to accomodate them. I don't remember what was the reason the deal fell through though.

It's tough finding that much space in Midtown. The only other place they can look at is the lofts and warehouses in the Meatpacking district and West Chelsea area. I'm sure Nordstrom and their agents will find something if they really want to.
 

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If I was Nordstrom and it came down to deciding between Ground Zero or the Westside railyards, I'd pick GZ in a heartbeat. That area will be filled with a ton of officeworkers, tourists and is very busy even now with just a hole in the ground.

The Westside on the other hand is a no-man's land of empty lots, industrial buildings and auto shops. Not a place I'd want to make my entrance into Manhattan.

By the way, the base of that tower above is where the hotel portion will be so no, sorry no vertical expansion for Nordstrom there. :lol:
 
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